United Nations Marks 1000 Days until Millennium Development Goals Deadline
The United Nations and partners today are marking a vital moment in history’s largest and most successful anti-poverty push – the 1,000-day mark before the target date to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. “We have 1,000 days to accelerate action on the Millennium Development Goals in South Sudan” stated Balázs Horváth, Country Director UNDP South Sudan.
What are the MDGs?
These eight concrete goals were set in the year 2000, when leaders gathered at the UN and agreed to halve global poverty and hunger rates, cut child and maternal deaths, fight disease, tackle unsafe water and sanitation, expand education and open doors of opportunity for girls and women.
MDGs around the world
Key outcomes in achieving the MDGs around the globe include:
- The global poverty target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half has been met - in the last dozen years, 600 million people have risen from extreme poverty.
- The drinking water target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water has been met.
- A record number of children are in primary school – enrolment in developing regions reached 90% in 2010, up from 82% in 1999.
- Targeted investments in fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis have saved millions of lives while Africa as a whole has cut AIDS-related deaths by one-third in just the past six years.
MDGs - significant progress
Although South Sudan faces some of the poorest social and health indicators in the world, the Government with support from UNDP has taken steps to address some of the infrastructure, capacity and policy-related challenges that are crucial to achieving these goals. Some notable results include:
- With support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, 1,497 TB/HIV co-infected people received ARV treatment in 2012. In addition, 4,882 people with tuberculosis received TB treatment and 94% are reacting positively to treatment.
- Gender equity and gender-disaggregated data were integrated across the pillars of the South Sudan Development Plan to address parity for women in governance, economic livelihoods, social and human development, community security and rule of law.
- The share of people with access to drinking water has improved from 48.3% in 2006 to 68.7% in 2010
Progress but major challenges
Under-five mortality in South Sudan is still 105 per 1,000 live births, while the maternal mortality rate was 2,054 per 100,000 live births, the highest in the world. Rates of illiteracy remain high while only 37.1% of enrolled primary school students are girls. Mr. Horváth reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment stating “UNDP will continue to work with the Government and our partners to step up collective efforts and re-energize the global movement to free people from extreme poverty and other critical human development issues.”
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN has called on the international community to ensure equal access for women and girls to education, healthcare, nutrition and economic opportunities as this was one of the most powerful drivers of progress across all the Goals. In addition he has urged the international community to raise awareness of the MDGs and create the momentum that will bring us closer to achieving our goals.
Team Leader Communications,
United Nations Development Programme, South Sudan
Cell: 095 619 1254